Baldock stroke victim told he would never walk again proves experts wrong

John Stowell, who had a stroke a few years ago, was helped by MS centre in Letchworth, and is pictur

John Stowell, who had a stroke a few years ago, was helped by MS centre in Letchworth, and is pictured at home - Credit: Archant

A MAN who was told he would never be able to walk again following a severe stroke has proved doctors wrong.

John Stowell, from Baldock, suffered a stroke in 2006, which left him paralysed on his left side.

The grandfather, who was 70 at the time, was hospitalised for four months and his body hung to the side of his wheelchair.

The former avid golfer and sportsman also struggled with mobility and paralysis and became completely dependent on his wife, Pat.

But a year ago, the couple came across the MS Therapy Centre in Letchworth GC.


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It was there that Mr Stowell, now 78, was helped by physiotherapists through tailored sessions, twice a week, for an hour.

He still receives treatment from the team at the Campus Five-based centre and now has his mobility back.

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He said: “The staff have been amazing. They have helped me get my confidence back, now I can walk.

“I couldn’t use my left leg, but since starting training 18 months ago, I can now get out of my wheelchair on my own, turn in small spaces, get out of bed easier and get in and out of the car.”

Over time, Mr Stowell has seen his physical and mental strength grow.

He has also started to read within the last two months, for the first time in seven years.

“I don’t look at my feet anymore when I walk, I can trust my legs have the strength to move,” he said.

“I already walk outside a little and my next goal is to be able to use stairs.”

Mr Stowell’s wife Pat, who is his full-time carer, said: “When John was in hospital he was hoisted in and out of bed, he had a tube fed through his nose and all he did was watch TV. It was very hard to see him like that.

“But since receiving help from the MS centre, he is doing really well. It was a slow start but the staff there are fantastic.”

The centre’s personal trainer Ricky Gould said: “His concentration is a lot better now, initially his mind wandered, but now his focus is much better and he can see tasks to completion.”

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